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Arnett & Telegraph Canyon, AZ
mini location map2019-12-01
60 by photographer avatartibber
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Arnett & Telegraph Canyon, AZ 
Arnett & Telegraph Canyon, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 01 2019
Hiking10.42 Miles 1,213 AEG
Hiking10.42 Miles   7 Hrs   1 Min   1.94 mph
1,213 ft AEG   1 Hour   38 Mns Break
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
I haven't had a chance to experience some of the fall colors others have this season (except West Fork at the end of October, trip report and photos pending) so when I saw Joe and Eagle's trip report, I thot this would be the ticket. Plus I want to see that wall up close.  I was at BTA on Wednesday and the color-turning had just started.  I was showing Bill (and his wife Candy) from glacierchat around.  He leads the Shangri-La hike from Many Glacier Valley over to Iceberg Lake for the Glacier Mountaineering Society (no mountaineering really required for that hike).  Wendy and me hiked with him and some other Minnesotans in 2018 up at Glacier.  I also took them over to Canyon Lake and they were duly impressed being from Minnesota.

No need for an early start so that we could give the temps a chance to warm up a bit. This was a good decision as it was still nippy in the shade.  We were surprised to see so many vehicles at the TH, figured there must be some sort of group event but who knows.  We geared up and went up the little hill to the left and down into the Arnett Creek Valley.  It's always great when a hike's scenery can impress you right off the bat and this hike did that throughout.  What we didn't expect were the multiple water crossings.  Kelly decided to add a couple rocks to the creek water so that we could get across a little easier.  She picked up some pretty good sized ones too; that FedX training is paying off :lol: .

So now we're wondering if there might be more like this and soon enough, yep, another one.  Well this one was a little trickier because it was wider and deeper so we went downstream and eventually found a place to cross, my choice being much easier than Kelly.  I would eventually learn that following Kelly for these was not necessarily my best option 😉 .  I'll follow her just about anywhere else.  This particular shore was a bit of a scramble to get back to the main trail too.  We would continue these crossings for nearly three miles.  It was nice to hear the creek running as we made our way via the cliffs and trees surrounding us.  It was such a great day.  We were so thrilled with all of this.  My video is way long, thus two sections, many parts.

We did encounter about half dozen hikers along the way but only in this three mile section; Otherwise we were on our own.  None of the folks we encountered seemed to be bothered by the creek crossings either.  We did try to keep our feet dry but often wondered if that would be frivolous but it wasn't for the most part.  Kelly did manage to get her feet in the water a couple times.  We liked seeing the desert varnish on the cliff sides and sometimes you could see and hear the water as it added to the varnish.

We blew by our exit to Telegraph Canyon but once I saw we were getting past the finger rock, I knew we needed to go back.  We were so busy looking ahead that we kind of neglected seeing the cairn for the southern turn.  Once again a big creek crossing would need to be done as we made our way to Telegraph Canyon.  We stopped to admire the finger rock and then continued on our way.  The canyon opens up pretty wide here before closing in a bit as you continue south.  There was a little more creek crossing from time to time but not as deep or wide as Arnett.  However, we did come to a bit of a box when we couldn't find the trail.  We looked around for a bit and I finally decided that the way ahead had to be straight and it dawned on me that maybe part of the tree had broken off and its leaf-filled branches were on our path.   Sure enough, I made my way through and yelled back to Kelly that I found the trail.  She couldn't see me initially but once she got closer I showed her the branch and that she just had to move the other branches out of the way.

We continued up and down a couple times and lost the trail again.  But we noticed this big debris pile that was at the end of a drainage coming from the east.  We thot we could go up and head toward where the road was but then we saw a bit of a trail on the other side of the debris so we took that.  You have the option to go straight or head left so if you want to take our route head left.  I believe the straight ahead continues the Circumference trail.  Soon we saw a couple ribbons and I remembered from Bill's conversation with one of the store owners in Superior that they are continuing to develop trails for LOST.  I suspect this might be one of them.  We then saw a little pool of water coming from a little waterfall from above.  We thot that was pretty cool.

We got closer to the top and crossed over the water that was flowing into the pool below but then the trail and ribbons were gone.  We just kept heading toward the road when we encountered another road where the trail resumed.  To our right we saw an arch window.  It was really quite big.  And it had a little other arch to its right too.  We would consider that later as our mission was to find the stone stacked wall and lunch. 

We got to FR4 and headed north.  We ended up going further than we needed to on the road but I needed the elevation work (not knowing what was ahead of me, sheesh!).  So we hiked back a bit and then headed off the road and straight up the hill.  I thot this wall was on the side of the hill but nooooo, it would be all the way to the top.  It just didn't look that way in the pictures I had seen.  And I thot it was nearer to Hill 3464.  Kelly got up there about 5 minutes before I could finally see her.  Of course, the views going up are pretty spectacular so I had to stop for a few pictures and catch my breath.

And then the rock wall she found, isn't quite what we expected but she figured the main wall was further south.  Anyway, it was lunchtime and what a view :D .  Had to put my windbreaker jacket on though.  Once done with some lunch I did the obligatory 360 before we started our hunt for the rest of the wall.  It didn't take long to find it.  It is as tall but much longer than the wall we had lunch above.  We walked alongside of it but was also checking for a way over it to maybe access what Kelly called a bit of a ramp to get us down.  Alas, the wall did its job and there really wasn't a way over it so we went back to the other wall to head back down the way we came.  The edges of this hill are steep so your getting down choices are limited.
It seemed to take almost as long to get down as up since we still had to avoid the sticky plants but mostly ocotillos.  There was some bedrock to hike down toward the bottom before I finally made it to FR4. 

We almost hiked right past the intersection we needed to turn on and then decided to go take a closer look at the Arch.  Kelly, of course, decided she needed to see if she could get up in it but from this side, the last bit is straight up.  So before I knew it, rather than coming down and over to where I was, she was going up and around to the backside.  And she says even I can do it so I eventually make my way to where she is and up I go.  The view is great. Still surprised no mention of this window arch on HAZ that I recollect seeing.

On our way back down to Telegraph Canyon we notice a little pool with water running into it via the little drainage we cross.  This pool feeds the lower pool along the trail.  We get back down to Telegraph and continue north.  We came to the section that was covered by the tree and it appears someone had made a giant hole in the branches so that was nice.  As we head toward Arnett Canyon we walk along the running creek and so enjoy that along with our view to the fall colored trees and finger rock ahead.

Going back down Arnett Canyon we are faced with the same water issue but we're better at jumping over or stepping stone across the creek.  We had hoped for different light but we mostly had shade as it's been a few hours now since when we first went through.  The falls colors :FG: are still pretty though and the big boulders/cliffs are lit up by the sun which is a dramatic contrast from the shade we are hiking through.  One area, instead of going across the creek, Kelly just headed straight which ended up being a good decision as we were able to avoid two creek crossings so keep that in mind if you have a clearer area to proceed.  We've seen no one for several hours now. 

We continue to enjoy the hike but know we have that one crossing we struggled with this morning.  Alas, we were able to get across it pretty easy as we found a short cut and on another we threw some additional rocks to aid in getting across.  We thot the creek might be running lower by this afternoon but that was not the case.

We passed by a couple trails, one that Kelly thinks she was on with Johnlp to check out some Apache Tears and one I think Larry OregonHiker or Kingsnake had been on to get to one of the hills.  You can also spot along the top of the hillside some landmark rock sculptures that can be seen when you're at the Arboretum.  As we came closer to getting out of the canyon, I noticed a use trail over to a stone wall just to the south of the dam.  Didn't feel up to checking it out as it was getting late.
Last chore is to get up and around the hill via the meandering of the trail that takes one big sweeping switchback that's probably not necessary at all.  When we arrive back at the Trailhead a lot of the vehicles are gone.  We head over to Tonto Jr and end up talking to the Campsite host.  This is his first winter in AZ.  He and his wife also host up at Idaho near Troy, MT.  They said they've really enjoyed their time here so far.  They will be in residence until March.  He said it was pretty toasty when they arrived in October.  Anyway, we shared some stories back and forth which gave us time to finish our beer before our drive back to our meet point.

We intend to put this on our list of hikes to do for late next fall.  We may not get the water but hopefully time it to get some fall color and do some exploration.  Glad to see the Telegraph Wall and bonus Telegraph Window Arch.  Thx Kelly for the great company and running point or should I say splashing point, ha!

Still working on the videos and will add them to the trip report as I can. I have a lot of video cuz there was lots of water thus a lot of crossings to film:
Arnett Creek Part 1 - [ youtube video ]
Arnett Creek Part 2 - [ youtube video ]
Arnett Creek Part 3 - [ youtube video ]
Arnett Creek Part 4 - [ youtube video ]

Telegraph Canyon and the wall and down to the Arch and back to TH via Telegraph Canyon and Arnett Creek (I think it's a 4 parter too :o ):

Part 1 incl music from HAZ's LosDosSloFolks - [ youtube video ] (Telegraph Canyon)
Part 2 incl music from HAZ's LosDosSloFolks - [ youtube video ] (to the Wall and back down to the WindowArch)
Part 3 oops, found an error with title, shoot. Will have to fix and re-load. Strangely, it looks fine this afternoon. Let me know if you think the title is in error [ youtube video ]
Part 4 [ youtube video ] Arnett Canyon
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Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
Trees were in varying stages. Some looked a bit ratty from the several storms that have passed thru here.
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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